Double the Listening

“Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love”

I’m reading one of the best books of all time to my students right now – Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang. The title character, Jacob, is never heard and so repeats everything twice. He’s desperate for attention from someone, really anyone, in his family.

While it may seem ridiculous to say everything twice, I find myself having a Jacob Two-Two like problem. My students have somewhat selective hearing too! I have a voice amplifier so it’s not that they can’t hear me. But they somehow manage to tune me out even though I’m incredibly loud!

 

One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: That you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving. Psalm 62:11-12a (NIV, 1984)

One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: “Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love” Psalm 62:11-12a (NIV, 2011)

God said this once and for all; how many times Have I heard it repeated? “Strength comes Straight from God.” Psalm 62:11 (MSG)

 

I wonder if I don’t have a Jacob Two-Two moment with God on a rather regular basis. However, I know it’s not a speaking to God issue, rather it’s a listening to God issue. Sometimes my mouth and my thoughts completely get in the way and I tune God out. I forget to intentionally listen to what He is up to. (It’s my list, don’t you know.) I deliberately ignore some of the things He says. (He can’t really be asking me to do _____?) I miss His gentle and subtle whispers to my heart. I’m so busy telling Him everything that I want to say that I lose the connection of His voice back to me.

His thoughts toward me are so very precious! His care and concern for me is more than my heart can grasp. His words to me are a reminder about who He is and what He is about. First, my God is powerful. The maker of the heavens, the moon, the stars, the incredibly complex earth, from the largest creature to the tiniest amoeba, is the One who wove me together in a completely unique way. (Psalm 139:13-16) I may have look-a-likes, but there is no other me around. And that’s only one small testament to His power. He formed the earth, He shakes the heavens, the moon and the stars do His bidding. And He is mindful of me? My God is a God of details and none are too small or too large to escape His attention. (Psalm 8:3-5)

But the thing I lose sight of the most, the detail about my God that I too quickly and easily forget is that He loves me. I have trained my ears to “hear” His disappointment in me. I’ve “heard” that I haven’t done enough. I have put a label of “unforgivable” on all sorts of things. But that’s my selective hearing. It’s my perception. It’s me putting my guilt and angst on God. These things aren’t Him at all. But they sure do muddy the waters. They make the image of my loving Heavenly Father distorted, warped, and tainted.

Instead of speaking twice, I need to definitely be listening twice. Listening for my Father’s words of love over me. (Zephaniah 3:17) Listening to how passionately His heart beats for me. Listening for the depth of His love. (Romans 8:31-39) He is speaking His love to me over and over. His incredible act of love, the sending of His perfect Son as the sacrifice in my place, cannot be forgotten. (Romans 5:8) His love is unending.

He is speaking – power and love. Those are words I am desperate to hear.

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